Victorian truckie prepped for surgery then turfed out, labelled Covid risk


Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants us to believe truckies are essential workers, but try telling that to distraught interstate driver Brendon Baker.

The 42-year-old feels anything but valued by anyone in authority after being unceremoniously shown the door at Northern Epping Hospital last week when medical staff there found out he was a truckie.

Baker was just minutes away from being wheeled into the theatre for a colonoscopy after increasingly debilitating symptoms left him fearing something more sinister was going on.

Instead, Baker, who was stuck on an 18-month waiting list for the procedure, was told to go home to Yarck 90 minutes away and self-isolate for 14 days.

A week later, back on the job and preparing for another Sydney to Brisbane run for employer Pilko Transport, he is still none the wiser about his health condition, or when he might be allowed to go back into hospital.

“I don’t have to self-isolate because I’ve always done all the tests – no one knows what’s going on,” a frustrated Baker told us.

“It’s just a big circle. As soon as you say the word Covid, everyone panics.”

Baker is flabbergasted that no one picked up on the fact that his occupation would be a factor sooner.

He’d taken a week off work for the colonoscopy, shelled out more money to buy the preparation powder and was literally lying in the hospital bed in a surgery gown when a nurse raised the alarm, fearful that his recent self-test at Gillenbah, NSW, wasn’t conclusive enough.

“They tested me again at the hospital but I couldn’t leave the bed for the next five hours and had to wear a red mask that labelled me as contagious. They made me use a bed-pan because they said the toilets now had to be professionally cleaned.

“As soon as you’re a truck driver and they find out you’ve been in NSW, you’ve got the virus.

“But if I’m so contagious because I’m a truck driver, and had to wear a red mask until I was out the front door, why did they let me back out in public?”

Baker said his only hope now is that his specialist can pull the necessary strings and have him fast-tracked through the hospital system as an emergency case.

“I’ve got almost no control of my bowels now. Whatever the issue is, is really bad.”

Northern Hospital Epping has been approached for comment.

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